Providence Friars (15-16, 4-14 Big East)
Big East Tournament Seed: No. 14, plays No. 11 on Tuesday (9 p.m. on ESPNU).
Head Coach: Third-year coach Keno Davis went from having Providence finish seventh in the conference in his first season, to finishing 15th and 14th in the last two. Of Providence’s 15 wins this season, not too many of them were of the impressive variety.
Team MVP: Senior forward Marshon Brooks is obviously the Friars’ best player. The SB Nation New York Player Of The Year led the Big East in scoring during the regular season with 24.8 points per game and was an All-Big East First Team selection (shocking that he wasn’t a unanimous selection). On Feb. 23, he scored 52 points in a loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a single-game Big East record.
Playing For: The only way Providence plays postseason basketball is in they win the Big East Tournament. Good luck.
Breakdown: The Friars’ chances rest on Brooks, but even if Brooks plays great Providence still will struggle to win. In Brooks’ record-setting 52-point performance against Notre Dame, the Friars lost, giving up 94 points. Sophomore guard Vincent Council does a little bit of everything. Council leads Providence in assists with 5.3 per game and also pulls down over 4 rebounds per game. Bilal Dixon, who averages a over a block per game and is the Friars second-best rebounder (6.4 rpg), gives Providence a solid down-low presence.
Thanks to Brooks, the Friars are the second-best scoring team in the league, but they struggle defensively allowing 75 points per game. That’s been their achilles heel all year and ultimately will be the reason their season ends against Marquette on Tuesday.
-- written by Chris Celletti.